Filipino Nurses as Commodities?
Nurses form the backbone of healthcare delivery. They voweddedication to service from the time they took their oath. But theprospects of high paying jobs abroad compromises part of the essencefound in the “Nightingale Pledge.” Many have veered away fromcommitting to patrimonial interest and chose to stay overseas –providing care to foreign nationals.In mitigating the short-term effects of migration, the Philippinesenacted a law that prevents nurses from accepting foreign jobs withoutcompleting a mandatory patrimonial-service of at least two years. Although fully enforced, the stance is leaning back to promotingmigration for dollar remittances. Recently, Filipino nurses were sentto Japan for retraining and eventual deployment. The PhilippineGovernment boasts of this achievement and urges Japan to open morenursing and caregiving job opportunities for Filipinos.Learning institutions also take part in motivating students with theallure of greener-pastures abroad and not by any patriotic ornationalistic pitches.Nursing is not just a grueling 5-year struggle for the student but letalone expensive for the head of the family. Yet, the prospects of seeingtheir children landing in a good job overseas give most parents thestrength to endure whatever hardships that might come their way.Indeed, the rewards that await nurses are irresistibly tempting. Thereare physicians who abandoned their degrees to become nurses. At the moment, the country is capable of producing professionals toreplace those who have gone abroad. But there is a dilemma that couldnot be fully addressed by mere statistical equations. In terms of proficiency, new entrants may never match the competence of moreexperienced personnel. What could follow next is a deterioration of professionalised delivery due to lack of seniority and clinicalexperience.It is quite evident how wealth and poverty factors play complementary in maintaining a steady and sound healthcare system between thecountry of origin and the immediate work destinations fortransnational nurses. Wealth attracts people from poor countries.They emigrate and assume jobs no matter how denigrating a professionis considered by some cultural standards.